Arrive an hour before doors open to shop at the food trucks. Take the meal into the venue Fairgrounds where you can sit and eat or stand, while energy readers, acrobats, carnival games, and performances from local performers from Boston Arts Academy singers and a diverse mix of choruses fill the space with their artistry. You’ll hear a signal when PAGLIACCI the opera is about to begin. It’s happening at the DCR Steriti Memorial Rink, located near a historic African American heritage site where there are many unmarked graves of the African Americans who lived in their “New Guinea” community at the edge of North End facing Charlestown. We have tours that go there.

PAGLIACCI is a quintessential Boston Lyric Opera production. Imagine an ice skating rink transformed into opera house producing quality sound and using the latest audience technology so people will know exactly what’s going on during the show. The orchestra performs flawlessly and sits above the pit behind the spotlighted stage. Your seats are positioned closer to performers than you may come to expect at an opera. During the show actors meshed with the audience. You enter this immersive, carnival-like experience, PAGLIACCI fairground performances, and a glowing waterfront park where people socialize before and after the show.

Soprano Lauren Michelle was excellent. A local Walnut-Hill school alumna, she helped kick off the BLO’s School Partnerships engaging 200 Boston Public School students on the second day of school. While socializing in the Fairground, this writer met an 83- year old African American man who said he drove here all the way from New York just to see her perform. He knew jazz and Mingus, and theatre personalities and histories. He detailed Lauren’s worldwide list at notable opera performance venues to me. It is such a small world. This stylish, knowledgeable Black elder even knew the mom of our administrative assistant who was enrolled to study opera at BU 20 years ago. Her mom was a noted opera on the world’s stage.

In PAGLIACCI a young Black man sang a strong part in the show. The last day performance for Oct 6th is already sold out. We recommend the show and hope you can get there before it ends.

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